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Our lawyers are all experts in their chosen specialisms, but you need your advisers to be able to look beyond the specific deal or project to understand your business sector. That is why our lawyers immerse themselves in specific industry sectors, making sure that they understand your business as well as they do their own.

Howes Percival’s team of specialist lawyers are trusted by the automotive industry, from global brands to UK owner managed businesses.

We act for automotive manufacturers, motor dealerships and suppliers to the automotive industry.  We also act for insurance and warranty providers, roadside recovery businesses, parts distributors, businesses involved in motor racing and high performance vehicles, automotive member organisations, fleet operators and their suppliers.

We advise on a broad range of legal matters affecting the automotive industry including commercial contracts, funding finance, franchise agreements, consumer credit, leasing and hire agreements, finance and security arrangements, dealer agreements (including the effect of domestic legislation and EU requirements on such arrangements), joint ventures and different company structures, intra-group lending, trade parts agency agreements, employment matters, outsourcing, litigation (including manufacturer’s liability, supply of goods and services, health and safety, regulation, trade descriptions and warranty matters), restitution, business recovery, IT systems, data protection, licensing, brand protection, designs and spare part exemptions, defamation and property matters.

We have extensive experience of acting for the automotive industry and understand the challenges that face the industry including the need to be at the forefront of developments, to increase sales and profitability and to effectively manage its cost base. 

Many of our fee earners have undertaken secondments within automotive sector clients which means that we are able to understand first-hand the issues faced by clients within the sector and which makes us adept at providing innovative and commercial solutions with the goal of keeping our clients ahead of the curve.

For Manufacturers

You’ll be surprised who we advise. Our clients include:

  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Kia Motors (UK)
  • Silverstone occupants

For Dealerships

We have proven experience of advising motor dealerships and directors as their business interests grow and flourish (and when facing economic pressures), including advising on dealership acquisitions and disposals, franchise arrangements, funding expansion, property development, funding stock, supply chain contracts, shareholders agreements, restructuring and redundancies.

We understand the importance of a fast response, the demanding management of supply chains and the need for certainty of costs and flexible payment terms.

Our clients include:

  • TrustFord
  • Mercedes-Benz
  • Busseys
  • C J Automotive
  • Motorvogue Group
  • Parkway Derby Limited 

For Supply Chain Networks

We advise many businesses supplying the motor sector and manufacturers, these include: 

  • high technology businesses including audio, management systems, IT and E-commerce including e-finance
  • supply chain businesses
  • safety businesses
  • fleet operators and suppliers to fleet operators
  • vehicle logistics and refurbishment
  • vehicle re-marketing
  • seat and re-fit manufacturers
  • petrochemicals
  • textile businesses for leather, carpet and trimmings
  • parts manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors
  • logistics companies.

Our clients include:

  • TrustFord (Ford Retail Limited)
  • Kab Seating Limited
  • Bond Engineering
  • HKS
  • The British Racing Drivers’ Club
  • Copart.  

Our Experience

  • We have acted for Mercedes-Benz for around 17 years.  Our recent work has included providing them with employment law advice and assistance.
  • We have acted for Ford Retail, now known as TrustFord, for around 15 years and the contact that we have with Ford Retail is clearly viewed by the Company, and its senior management especially, as being vital to the Company achieving its business objectives.  We attend their events and conferences for all staff, in addition to briefings concerning strategy and values and smaller events for senior management personnel.
  • We have recently acted for Ford Retail Limited in taking a lease of premises for use as a warehouse distribution centre for Ford’s Parts Division at Kingsland Grange Warrington, a new build site, conditional on planning and acquisition of the freehold by the Landlord.  There was also a full suite of construction documents and warranties for us to review as a result.
  • Acting for Ford Retail Limited taking an Agreement for Lease and Lease of new build premises at Orion Park Dagenham for a proposed new vehicle dealership comprising 17,500 sq ft on a 2 acre site.
  • Acting for Paragon Automotive Limited in relation to its acquisition of the vehicle services division of Eddie Stobart.
  • Acting for Motorvogue Limited in relation to its recent acquisition of a large new site in Bedfordshire which will make it the biggest supplier of Alfa Romeo in the UK when completed.
  • Acting for Paragon Automotive Limited in negotiating and agreeing a complex agreement as the sole supplier to Kia for all their new and used vehicle activities.
  • Acting for The British Racing Drivers’ Club in agreeing contracts for Porsche and Mercedes Benz to develop and occupy sites within Silverstone Circuit, involving track access.
  • Acting for a large motor vehicle retailer in relation to the defence of an unfair dismissal claim relating to a failure to comply with its financial procedures.
  • Acting for an exhaust system manufacturer against Aston Martin.
  • Acting for a large motor vehicle retailer in relation to the acquisition of a number of dealerships in Birmingham and Manchester. 

What Clients Say About Us

"TrustFord has worked with Howes Percival for over 15 years now and their proactive legal advice has been a constant support in helping us to develop our business and achieve our success.Their specialist lawyers have acted seamlessly as an extension of our business in managing the property portfolio and commercial matters for our 65 UK-wide dealerships. Response times are quick,we receive good value for money and, vitally, Howes Percival share with us our purpose of driving the standard in customer care, our principles of honesty and integrity, respect and care, and our ambition to be the envy of our competitors, to stay ahead in a changing world, be recognised as the benchmark in all our operations and to grow and retain the best people."
Stuart Mustoe, Finance Director of TrustFord

“We have used Howes Percival since we started our business just over 10 years ago. Since then Howes Percival have helped us at each important moment in our development to a business that now has a turnover of more than £150 million. Most recently Howes Percival helped us to negotiate and agree a complex agreement that has seen us become the sole supplier to Kia for all their new and used vehicle activities, including port side handling, PDI, inspection, refurbishment and storage requirements. Their focus and knowledge of our sector together with their commercial and pragmatic approach delivers, for us, a first rate service.”
Stephen Hucklesby, Chief Operating Officer, Paragon Automotive Limited

“Howes Percival provides legal advice and support across our business, including the recent acquisition of our new build dealership within the Interchange Retail Park in Bedford.  We have built a great relationship with the team and they continue to demonstrate a deep understanding of our business and our sector which translates into commercial, friendly and fast advice when we need it and proactive guidance, which only comes from appreciating the bigger picture within the automotive and motor retail industry.  Based on our experience of working with them over a number of years I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Howes Percival.”
Jon Pochin, Managing Director, Motorvogue (Northampton) Limited

Contact Us

If you would like to speak to a member of our Automotive team, please contact courtney.borthwick@howespercival.com or any of our lawyers listed on this page.

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[*Source:  Automotive Messenger published by Grant Thornton in Jan/Feb 2016 p17 and ** p18]